Too much foraging?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by gt4889, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. gt4889

    gt4889 New Egg

    Sep 11, 2010
    Ever since I started letting my 3 hens free range all day, their feed consumption has dropped considerably. While that's a good thing for my wallet, I worry that they're not getting enough of what they need to be good-sized birds and good layers. My backyard is very wooded - no grass to speak of and only a few weeds here and there. I guess they're getting enough to eat as they seem to forage non stop. Having happy birds is important to me but am worried they'll be skinny and poor layers. They're about 22 weeks right now.

    They have access to their feed (commercial + some homemade stuff) all day but definitely prefer foraging. Sounds crazy I know but should I be concerned about this? Or just have faith in "they know what they need"?
  2. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing

    I think your chickens will be happy and healthy with all the foraging.
    I let mine free range all the time and they lay plenty off eggs and are not thin.
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I think most folks who free range enjoy feed lasting longer during the spring and summer months. I would offer free choice oyster shell for calcium. But right now there are plenty of grasshoppers and other bugs to provide plenty of protein, so I wouldn't worry. As the bugs begin disappearing this fall, I'm sure you'll find your chickens resorting more and more to their layer feed... But it's always a good idea to pick your chickens up for a quick exam at least once per month (some do it more often) you'll feel whether their weight is good, or whether they feel "bony."

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by